Many Disney-fans all over the world have an Annual Pass to Disney World.
Disneyland Resort’s annual pass system has been discontinued. And currently, you cannot purchase new Disney World Annual Passes (except in very certain cases). Current Annual Passholders can renew though. With all the changes. in Disney World, we asked YOU if you would or wouldn’t be renewing your Annual Pass this year! It was pretty split, but let’s take a look at what each side had to say.
Why You Would Renew Your Annual Pass
One of the biggest reasons that our readers said they would renew their pass is tradition. Several people have had passes for over 25 years, and can’t imagine their life without it!
One reader said “what else am I going to do?” Going to the Disney parks is a BIG part of so many people’s lives, and having an annual pass makes it much easier to go on a regular basis.
A few people referred to Disney World as their “happy place”, and one reader said “Disney’s the only place to bring joy during these insane times, I don’t wanna stop going.” Someone else said Disney World “feels like home.” We relate!
You’re Local to Disney World
Many Floridians, especially in the Orlando area, have an Annual Pass. It seems pretty hard to be THAT close to Disney World, and not go all of the time! Lots of our readers who responded live in the local area, and also say they “can’t imagine life without” their Annual Pass.
One reader explained that they are “a Florida resident who enjoys going casually so [they] don’t mind all the recent cuts.” This is referring to the limited experiences in Disney World right now, which we touch on later in this post.
Several locals explained that it is nice to have the option to pop in to EPCOT after a long work day, or go on a date to Disney’s Hollywood Studios. This seemed to be the most popular reason that annual passholders are renewing.
Many locals also said that “going to the parks helps [them] relax” and is “an escape” from their normal lives.
Perks and Discounts
Annual Passholders get lots of perks at Disney World! Another popular reason for renewing a pass is the discounts and perks. In fact, some exclusive Annual Passholder Minnie ears were just released in Disney World, and not too long ago, there was an entire pop-up shop dedicated to this group!
Not only is there merch all around, but Annual Passholders get a discount on merchandise. One reader said “I go enough and all the discounts make it worth it.”
Passholders get 20% off almost everything merchandise-related in Disney World, and sometimes Disney increases that amount. Last year, the discount was bumped up to 30% for a select period of time, which could be considered a major perk to renew a pass.
Why You Would NOT Renew Your Annual Pass
Since the global pandemic arrived last year, it has taken a toll on lots of people. The most common reason we saw as to why people were not renewing is concerns regarding COVID-19.
Several comments were from readers in Canada saying they cancelled their passes because the borders are currently closed, and they can’t go to Disney World even if they wanted to. A friend from across the pond said “would LOVE an annual pass, but I am in the U.K.” Now, a negative COVID-19 test, and a quarantine period is required for international travelers coming to the United States.
Many readers commented on vaccine concerns and said they would consider renewing once they received the vaccine or “if distribution of the vaccine was wider.”
Disney World is Different
Another reason readers said they are not renewing their annual pass is because of the different experiences due to the pandemic. Since reopening, Disney World has put several health and safety precautions in place that have altered guests’ experiences. Many people referred to Disney World as “half open.”
A big draw to Disney World is character meet-and-greets, but they look a bit different in Disney World now. We’ve seen TONS of characters around the parks still, but they are from afar. Characters try their best to still have some one on one interactions with guests, but it is not nearly the same as before.
A few readers mentioned the fact that Magical Express is being discontinued in 2022. While there are other transportation options to get from the airport to you Disney resort, Magical Express has been a very popular option for incoming Disney World guests.
The lack of Extra Magic Hours was also a factor for some people when it came to renewing their passes. Extra Magic Hours give Disney World hotel guests extra time in the park either before or after regular park hours. Attractions usually have fairly low waits during this time, which makes it a big perk, but since the reopening, these have not reappeared.
However, Disney recently announced that Early Theme Park Entry would be available for resort guests! This will allow guests to enter any theme park, any day 30 minutes early. Extra Magic Hours used to be a full hour early, but only on select days. There is no official date for this yet, however this could possibly persuade some people to renew their passes if they were originally leaning towards no.
Readers who mentioned these reasons explained that once Disney World is more back to normal, they would consider getting a pass again.
A reader said “nothing against Disney, but still don’t feel comfortable with the thought of crowds.”
This all comes down to personal preference, and although crowds have gotten smaller, there can be tight points where people tend to crowd.
Another response we saw a lot of is that Disney World annual passes are too expensive. Many expressed that it would be too expensive to renew this year.
One reader mentioned “money is tight right now” and that they “will have to celebrate the magic at home for now.” Another reader who IS renewing this year said the biggest reason they made that decision was “not wanting to lose the renewal discount.”
Other readers described the cost of an annual pass as “out of control”, and someone mentioned it’s “too expensive for out of state APs when everything feels half opened.”
Each year, Disney increases ticket prices, and that includes annual passes. Disney has not announced an increase for 2021 yet, but annual passes can be quite pricey.
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Will you renew your Disney World annual pass this year? Let us know in the comments!